Put own welfare needs first
I strongly believe that the Hong Kong Government should immediately consider tightening the conditions for eligibility for benefits from the Social Welfare Department as well as legal aid from the Legal Aid Department, by requiring that applicants must be permanent residents of Hong Kong.
In countries such as Australia and Canada, permanent resident status has for some time been a pre-condition of eligibility for applying for social security.
As Hong Kong is such a tiny place, which has been severely hit by the Asian economic crisis, our scarce social resources should be used to take care of permanent residents who have in the past made contributions to our society, such as by paying taxes.
The current system administered by the Legal Aid Department is too lenient and inevitably leads to abuse by others such as migrants from the mainland and people claiming that they have right of abode in Hong Kong. A lot of mainland migrants don't want to work here because the social benefits are too generous.
The Social Welfare Department and the Legal Aid Department should review the policy without delay.
KELVIN L. Y. CHAN Western